I had a discussion over dinner with one of my children. In his lifetime, he's wanted personal CD music players and various MP3 play devices. The CD players and MP3 devices have come and gone, so they're not really significant now.
He walks around with a computer in his pocket, can stay in touch with his friends wherever they may be in the world, and shares video/images and text as he desires. If he needs information, the capability is instantly available, regardless if it's maps or fairly obscure bits of knowledge.
Cultural change? Yeah, this is the greatest change humanity has ever seen. If you don't see it, take a couple of steps back.
The concept that humility in SEO is in some way deferring to search engine engineers is kind of sad. Knowing that you don't control the exact end result of your work should make you humble.
The world is changing, search engines are advancing and improving, knowing we don't have total control of some aspects is healthy, IMHO.